European Parliament proposes 550g rule exceptions

Energy committee officials, meeting in European Parliament to revise an electricity market directive, have delivered a new proposal whose implementation would subject conventional power plants to a CO2 emission limit of 200 kilograms per KWh per year, as long as these plants belong to a category of back-up units that would contribute to the system only when necessary.

A decision has already been reached to exclude any plants that emit more than 550g of CO2 per KWh from public money, through eligibility for support mechanisms.

The latest proposal would offer some leeweay to plants exceeding this 550g limit, as long as they have qualified for the back-up reserve category.

The energy committee MEPs noted that power plants belonging to this back-up category are entitled to different emission limits as they will remain sidelined and called to action only if capacity mechanisms have proved to be insufficient. Subsequently, these back-up units will not cause the type of market distortions that could be caused by capacity mechanisms, officials agreed.

This additional proposal, offering some leniency, comes as an effort to bridge gaps between EU member states. Poland, for example, has reacted strongly against the 550g limit, noting it will affect the country’s electricity production.